Wardrobe Redesign

Months ago, I ran across a beautiful old wardrobe that had been handed down to someone who apparently didn’t appreciate what they had. It was relegated to a corner of a garage and because of this, the front doors and bottom frame sustained some pretty extensive damage. Sad face.

But, that also meant that I picked it up for a song. The interiors are immaculate and the back and top are in really great shape too. But that left open the question of what to do to “fix” the damage. It sat unattended for some time while I finished other projects and even when I went back to work (funny how a full time job with a lengthy commute can eat into my spare time), I tried to re-sell it to someone else who might want to take it on as a restoration project. No luck.

But this might work out to my advantage. Now on evenings and weekends I am going to set to bringing my own special touch to this piece. I searched high and low for walnut veneer, without much luck, as I didn’t have to want to travel too far or pay too much. So, again it sat in my garage, although in much better surroundings.

And I have stumbled onto the design I want to take it. And there is a nice little tutorial on how to approach it. If you’re interested in how to do it, just visit the website.

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I am going to rebuild the base with the help of my son and then I am going to strip the veneer off the doors and sand it down to a nice solid finish. Then it is going to get painted in a beautiful high gloss black and then the doors are going to get a colorful abstract painting in bold beautiful colors. The interiors are simply going to get a cleaning and a sealer to protect the still beautiful finish.

So, here is the before:

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And I will provide updates as I progress. There is no hurry to getting this project done and I want to take my time with it. In the meantime, I am also working on the other American Girl dollhouse project. This one will be sold when done, and I expect it to command a pretty penny. And it will be a fun project as I work on it.

Here is the work so far:

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Basically it is a big box. :-) It measures 48″ wide by 48″ high and is 24″ deep and the shelf rests at 24″ and is built out of beautiful cabinet grade plywood (I’m thinking hardwood floors throughout). Yes, this is the beginnings of the most amazing dollhouse for 18″ sized dolls, ie. American Girl dolls. Although there are a wide variety of popular dolls that size, including Our Generation, Madame Alexander, Favorite Friends and so many more, that would feel just as home in this doll house. Intentions include a base which should be a small lawn and an attic. The kitchen will be to-die-for… boasting turquoise appliances and a plethora of cabinets and I am hoping for an adjoining dining room. It is also to have a bathroom (you should see the toilet!) and a bedroom. I have so much collected already, I am excited to see this come together.

Thanks for dropping by and taking a peek. And apologies for being so absent lately. Come back soon!

julie

The Kid’s Room is Done, An Unveiling

After spending a few extra hours over the past couple of days to complete artwork, the Kid’s room is declared done. He is very happy with the results, and in the end, that is all that matters.

If you want to refresh your memory of the way the room had been for the first eight and a half years, you can see the “before” pictures here. I also have some photos that I shared with some of the transformation that you can see here.

The best way is to just jump in and show you photos of the room. When you enter the room, to your right is his bed. This is a custom built bed, designed to be a bit of a combination of a day bed and a platform bed. Meant to be comfortable enough to sit upon and play games or watch television. We wrapped the head and left side of the bed board with a leather-look vinyl. Using leather wrapped buttons, I attempted to tuft the boards, but it didn’t turn out exactly how I had pictured it. The frame, however, turned out better than I had hoped. The legs are actually fencing post tops, turned upside down following being painted black.

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The room’s overall theme is a combination of technology and industrial; blacks, grays and a accent color of red. New silver/gray microfiber sheets are topped with a very red comforter and sham. Sitting next to it, is a “leather” wrapped night stand. Sitting on top is his pipe lamp:

DSCN1535Continuing around the room, we have his leather easy chair, kind of a unique design that I found on Craigslist. Immensely comfortable!

DSCN1541It is on this wall, above the chair, is the first of the two pieces of art. Recently having stumbled across a very unique animated movie titled “Angels and Idiots”, both the Kid and I have fallen in love with the artwork. Together, we chose two large digital image from the movie and had them printed out in “industrial size” and then mounted with glue onto stretched canvases. It took a couple of tries to get it to the correct size and clarity of the print. I also used watercolors to add just a hint of the color that was part of the original print/movie. Just a very watered down ‘color wash’. I then painted the sides of the canvases gray on the three part print.

DSCN1540I neglected to mention that the room is painted in shades of gray; three walls in a lighter shade than the fourth wall (the wall on which the desk sits).

It is the desk that we come to next. It stretches the width of the wall, built around the large window. More details exist on an earlier post, which you can see here. He uses the desk often and provides much storage for extra computer pieces. He has set up all of his computers and servers on the right, taller desk top.

DSCN1529We found a unique chair for the desk:

DSCN1542Over each desktop, lighting has been installed to provide specific lighting. I managed to pick these up at a large retailer for 90% off as they were the floor models. Can’t beat that!

DSCN1532As we turn to the fourth wall, we have the piece that started it all; the buffet that was painted black. Perfect for storing his gaming systems and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. Has enough surface that he can have a television for his new gaming systems and a second one for his ever-expanding collection of older gaming systems.

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On this wall displays the other print that was made, this time on a single large framed canvas (note the color wash of his jacket and smoke):

DSCN1539This pretty much concludes the details of the room makeover. We did keep the rug that I hand hooked from his “camo” room, the colors mostly match and it is so very soft (made for 100% wool yarn). I will just throw a few more photos for your pleasure:

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Piping used throughout the room adds to the industrial look:

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The addition of a very modern/industrial ceiling fan and light fixture:

DSCN1526And so this concludes the work done to makeover the Kid’s room. He turns 18 in about six weeks and I hope that having a hip and comfortable space to call his own will keep him from spreading his wings and leaving the nest. :-) I suppose most parents are anxious to have their kids grow up and leave home, but not me. As far as I am concerned, he is my best friend and I hope to remain as invested in his life as I have been for the first 18 years.

Thanks for dropping by. Leave a comment if you’ve seen anything you like or have questions. And as always, keep making beautiful things, just for the sake of beauty.

julie

 

 

PS… I almost forgot to include a panorama photo that the Kid snapped with his iPhone. Pretty cool, huh?IMG_4846

Inspiration Comes in Many Forms and Unexpected Places

Inspiration has a way of sneaking up on you from different places and in different ways. Feeling like I have sort of worn out the ombré style and that I wanted – nee, needed, to do something different, I found inspiration. In a crayon box.

I was cleaning out the cupboards upstairs in the hall which has been a holding place for school supplies for the Kid for many years. I had sort of made it my mission to help all his teachers and their students by always buying more than I needed during the back-to-school sales and stashing some away so that the Kid would always have supplies, and also donating at least two or three students’ worth of supplies to his new homeroom teacher. Needless to say, as we near the end of his K-12 school days, I needed to get rid of some. And that is where I saw the Crayola boxes and found inspiration.

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I had picked up a dresser that was the perfect piece… solid and wood, but with absolutely no personality. Well, here it is, a bit of personality now!:

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I am so pleased with how this turned out. The base color – something in between orange and yellow – was a real bear to work with. No coverage whatsoever and even in priming the cabinet first, it required no less than six coats of paint. The other colors, even the yellow, were dreams compared. The black stripes and outlines were done with my favorite Elmer’s paint pens. I struggled for a while on what to use for handles, I wish this had been a piece that had built-in drawer pulls, but in the end, I just used wood round knobs painted the same color as the drawer, hoping to make them blend-in. I think it worked! What do you think?

Here’s a quick before and after:

Crayola Before&After

Another project done this week is a gem that I found at a storage center. The owners were clearing out a few of the discarded or left behind items, including this lovely little beat up piece:

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But if you can see past the flaking, dull paint and the horrible hardware to see the beauty that lies within, you are off on the right foot. The lovely curves of this dresser tell the real story. And in sanding the chipped and flaking paint off the top of this lovely, I found the most beautiful wood. It took nearly eight sheets of sandpaper and some real dedication and time in removing it all, but it was worth the effort.

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This is three coats of a natural finish, followed by two coats of polyurethane. It just shines and should last another fifty or sixty years! I didn’t spend as much time with the body, but opted to apply three coats of the antique white (one of my favorites) and then add the six ceramic knobs painted a deep chocolate brown. The perfect crowning touch. And here is the result:

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And so that you don’t have to scroll back up to see the before photo, here is the before and after:

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These are the kind of results that I love and only hope to achieve with every piece that I work on. But alas, there are two more pink ombré pieces waiting, one to be delivered and the other to be sold. Additionally, work continues on the doll beds and their matching dressers, armoires and night stands, as well as clothing. I hope to have quite a nice inventory when I am ready to start selling. It is turning out to be a little more work than I thought, at least taking more time than I anticipated. But it is fun and has been rewarding as I put my creativity to work in a smaller scale.

Thanks for dropping by! And keep the crafting and inspiration flowing!

julie

The “Genius” Behind the Black Ombré Dresser

I realized that I needed to expand a bit on my last post. I just sort of threw it up here without any discussion at all.

So here is the before picture:

As you can see, this is a magnificent piece, made of a beautiful wood with gorgeous grain. I was hesitant to paint over it, but it did have scratches and stains and a crack in the base, that although could be repaired, the finish was beyond repair in its natural state. But, oh, such wonderful bones!

Here is the before and after photo:

The black has become my new favorite, we’re using a lot of this in the Kid’s room makeover. I especially like it with the shades of grey (please no reference to “fifty shades”!!) in the ombré style. So stunning and sophisticated, yet still playful in its appearance.

Here is another piece that was recently completed, almost an identical in appearance to the first, albeit a bit smaller:

I love the slim handles that I found on eBay, and I got quick shipping and a great price. You can check it out here, it’s called Marnyn12. I think that the handles are like the candles on a cake!

Here is a quick ‘Before & After’ photo:

There was something else that I wanted to share with you today. Although I consider myself organized and a neat freak, I am not a cleaning nut. And nothing dampens my creative nature than cleaning. So when painting, I was determined to figure out a way to reduce – if not outright eliminate cleaning – from my painting process. At first, I used inexpensive materials, so when I was done I could just throw them away. But I didn’t like that idea for a number of reasons, the two main reasons being that I wasn’t happy with the results of “cheap” materials and the second, I didn’t like the idea of throwing away so much and adding to the landfills. It did get to be expensive as well. So there had to be another answer.

I had heard, with painting, that you could simply freeze the brush in between uses, which did work, but it always took time to get them thawed before I could use them again. And frankly, having all of that mingled in my freezer with my food and ice cream wasn’t sitting so well with me. One weekend while working, I forgot to put the brushes and rollers in the freezer and found the next day that they were just fine. In fact, they were better than fine. They were ready to go when I was, and they retained both their use and their paint color. And it seems, that as long as you have the bags sealed tight, they seem to be lasting quite a long time.

I also found that if I left the paint in the trays that I used when painting, I could simply pour more paint into them on the next painting session and when I was done, I was able to simply peel the paint off the tray! I couldn’t ask for a better system.

This really works for me since I use about the same dozen or so colors. For drop cloths, I have purchased old sheets from thrift stores, averaging about a dollar for a queen or king size… so often you see wonderful patterns under my work in my pictures.

Well, I’m about ready to start working and finish up the final pieces. Three pieces are already being advertised for sale and hopefully I will be delivering them soon.

Happy Crafting Y’all!

The Pink Ombre Tradition continues…

I can’t help it! There is a big part of me that wished I had had a little girl (although I wouldn’t give up a minute of my son!) so that I could go over board with pink (and maybe purple) for her. As a compromise, I get to provide the most adorable pieces to other little girls (or their moms!) as I continue to hunt down quality pieces of furniture and do my transformation magic.

The last pink ombre set turned out amazing and sold within minutes (I swear, it seemed like minutes) of posting the ad on Craigslist. And for full asking price! So, when I ran across the ad for this little headboard and foot board set, I knew it was destined to become a matching set as well.

I am always on the scout for dressers, end tables, bed side tables and lately new pieces to use in finishing the Kid’s room. In the same ad, this little cabinet was being offered up, so since I was driving way across Kansas City (and don’t let the Midwest fool you, that was a drive!), I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.

On a side note, one of these days, I am going to write a blog post about the origins of quirky little saying like that… why would I want to kill two birds? And an added benefit of using only one stone? But I digress. :-)

I had also picked up a couple of dressers in a furniture run a few days before that, one perfect for the transformation of the pink ombre. It required a fair amount of repair and love, but it is always a labor of love.

So, in all it’s pink awesomeness, here it is the latest results:

Work continues on the Kid’s room, in fact, we’re supposed to be painting walls today, but our heating pump stopped working and we’ve sequestered ourselves in our home office where we have a space heater. If it warms up a bit tomorrow, maybe we’ll be able to paint.

So, there is today’s quick update. At that same time, I picked up this wonderful little piece of history:

I can envision this with a dark turquoise or chocolate finish (for my master bedroom makeover) somewhere down the road. This is one gorgeous piece of furniture, although it too, will require some work.

Well, that’s today’s update. I am happy to have you stop by! Keep on crafting!

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